Monday, 13 December 2010

REVIEW: Megamind

Bad to the bone. Its not my fault, they used it in the movie... Hell with it.

Traditionally, I don't like Dreamworks animated movies. Usually leaning too heavily on pop culture references and unnecessary star names to sell themselves. As a consequence of this they rarely have a soul, and become very vapid shallow experiences. Bright colours or no. I don't really think that Megamind is much of an exception. Its an entire existence is predicated on a juvenile what if, in what if Lex Luther killed Superman. I do think it attempted to have a more genuine emotional core then some of the others, and I liked how it followed through on all villainy coming from pain. Both in Megamind and substitute bad guy Jonah Hill. It still leans on cheap irony a little too much, but its OK I Guess.

One can't help but feel that there's a more interesting movie in amongst everything though. Megamind himself is repeatedly undermined as a bad guy in case things got too dark, he kept being lovably incompetent or pronounced words funny. These kind of moments just feel flat, in part because every time Will Ferrell got given a joke he hit it way too hard. More interesting perhaps would have been centering the film about his nemesis' Brad Pitt's Metro Man. Pitt's decade long bid to win an Oscar has led to his funny bone being put on the back-burner, but dude can be funny. I enjoyed his brief cameo here. Also the idea of a superhero who stops being a superhero because fuck it sounds like a much more vital idea then this. I think I liked what was done with Jonah Hill's character the most, if only because he begins Megamind as one of those irritating supporting characters one usually finds in these things, always played by someone from the Apatow universe, who the movie points and laughs at for being a nerd while they go on none the wiser. I liked that the film acknowledged that a person could be resentful in being treated that way, and frankly someone who I thought was going to be cheap comic relief ended up going reasonably dark.

But as always, its undercut with a joke or a sight gag of some such, as this is dreamworks movie, and too much sincerity goes against the narratives they like to present. Its why their films are so much more disposable then Pixar's, because they treat everything too hands off, and dilute everything with too much irony. I'm not saying I want serious kids movies, but it works so much better when the comedy comes from the characters and the world rather from the writers reminding you its just a movie, so it will all be OK in the end. Much more run of the mill then it had to be. In the battle of the supervillain kids movies released in 2010, I think Despicable Me comes out on top.

Rating: 5/10

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